Afar region of north-east Ethiopia

The Afar lands are mostly in remote north-east Ethiopia, but also extend into parts of Djibouti and southern Eritrea. The APDA field office is located in the town of Logya, with project work extending through the Afar region in Ethiopian territory. APDA also has an office in the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa.

About the Afar Pastoralist Development Association

Australian nurse Valerie Browning first went to Ethiopia in 1973. In 1989 she married Ismael Ali Gordo, an Afar leader, and since then has been living with and serving the Afar people. In 1993 she and Ismael joined with other leaders to form the Afar Pastoralist Development Association (ADPA), which continues to be run by and for the Afar people.

APDA was established because Afar leaders felt their needs, particularly around health and education, were not being met by formal Government services that did not take into account the unique geography, climate, culture and lifestyle of the semi-nomadic pastoralist Afar people. Over the years APDA has gradually grown from a core group of volunteers, to first taking on international assistance in 1997, and now operating with hundreds of field workers supported by assistance from international NGOs and agencies.

What does the Afar Pastoralist Development Association do?

Today, APDA works on a wide variety of projects to contribute to the development and wellbeing of the Afar people, many of them focusing on vulnerable women and children, including mobile health and vaccination, water provision and harvesting, maternal and child health activities, and education for Afar children.

APDA also supports projects to help people with their livelihoods such as improving animal husbandry, along with protecting and managing the unique Afar environment. In all their projects, APDA works with communities to build relationships and knowledge so that the Afar people can take the lead in their own development. APDA also undertakes relief work in times of crisis such as drought.